Groundbreaking ceremony held for memorial park for West Mesa murder victims

It has been nine years since the bodies of 11 women, including one who was six months pregnant, were found buried in a dirt lot in the West Mesa. 

On Saturday, their families helped break ground on a new memorial park in their honor.

One by one, the names of each of the women were read. 

“All I can say is Jamie, we love you and you guys will always be in our prayers,” said the mother of victim Jamie Barela. 
 
Nine years ago, police uncovered the bodies of 11 women who had disappeared between 2001 and 2006 out on the West Mesa in Bernalillo County.
 
Soon after, an effort was launched to create a memorial for the victims and it was an uphill battle. 

“You guys have been waiting long enough,” Albuquerque City Councilor Klarissa Pena told the families. 

“I want you to know that your loved ones are not forgotten,” said Mayor Tim Keller.
 
Family members say they just want their daughters, sisters and nieces to be remembered for who they were.

The murder case still hasn’t been solved. But Saturday’s groundbreaking brings some amount of closure to the families.
 
A two-acre memorial park will now honor the 11 women. It will feature a bench with each woman’s name and 11 trees.

“I want people to remember her for the good and I think this park will bring out the good,” explained Julie Gonzales, Doreen Marquez’s sister.

The park will cost more than a million dollars.

Phase one of two should be completed by the fall. 

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